Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Blended Malt
North Star Spirits (NSS)
Bottling serie
Limited Edition No. 5
Stated Age
33 years old
Number of bottles
46.2 % Vol.
700 ml
gb United Kingdom
Added on
25 Apr 2019 7:37 am by SmallBatchelor
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask Strength

Average value

€ 275.00

18 × in wishlist

36 × member ratings

117 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Vega 1985 NSS

14 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 88.65 points

  1. Whiskydudes scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    Ok. So now the ridiculously hard to find Vega 1985 went on sale ‘online exclusive’ and UK only. Hmm. I already had a few (pure luck) and I received the NSS email and as I find this a really great whisky I didn’t think twice and grabbed another 3. I do want to review this dram as I find it absolutely stunning compared to the retail price (£105) You do need to give this some time in your glass and it benefits from the warmth of your hand. Nose: bam, popcorn! Say what? Yep, popcorn, the 2nd whisky ever I had that has got popcorn in it (the other one a Glentauchers bottled by Bruhler Whiskyhaus). This one is much older and also way better. It is rather sweet, but not too much. And, although ‘only’ around 46% it does have punch! Nose has very dark and almost overripe fruits, blackberries, vigs, that kinda stuff. This is just pre Tschernobyl stuff, but it gives the feeling of 70 ties great whisky’s, if I would tasted blind I would hang a early 1970-73 tag on it. Taste; great, you get exactly what you would expect from nosing. And there is that ‘old skool’ taste that is so hard to describe, it’s that endless seeming depth that makes sure you’re never bored by this. Finish: long, warm and again very entertaining, no off notes
    Note: I’m not rating this whisky 91 points to bump the rating and the price, my bottles are NOT for sale! EDIT; I did receive a question regarding this whisky has a ‘too much sulphur’ stamp in it’s DNA. I must say I do like some sulphate in a whisky and I find this one is definitely not overpowered by sulphate. If you can appreciate > 20 yo Glendronach single cask bombs you will love this! Even more considering this is not even half the Glendronach price.....

  2. Gris scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      Starting with perfect notes (i just have to use these words) of dates and dried figs. Hard to say which ones mostly stand out, perhaps dates, from a short head. Honestly, I have rarely felt them so frankly. And i’ve to mention that i tasted a lot of this kind of whiskies, which have my preference, i really like it! Nice spicy notes too, like with a (minimum) 30 years old Port, of high quality! And well balanced, like a good Taylor’s! Probably not the most complex nose I’ve met but, putain (in French in the text), so lovely, what pleasure!
    • Taste
      Powerful! 46.2% but i’d give it more, clearly. Some, nice and balanced, dryness in the mouth and nice woody notes (with this feeling, we easily would think we also have older whisky). We’re also, strongly, on tobacco, like with an old cigar box, as with a lot of (older) whiskies finished in nice old sherry casks. We are also more, and perhaps even more markedly, on dates than on dried figs. With a touch of plums. Bordel (always in French in the text), great, sweet and almost perfect as a dream! Question of tastes, obviously, but it’s really my stuff! It is powerful but at the same time it is round and superbly balanced. No need to add water, just perfect as it is. Once again, not the most complex whisky i’ve tasted but that’s just wonderful! You know, like really great wine with really great cheese with really great bread for a really great moment with really great friends, who the hell really needs more than this? Really? Not me!
    • Finish
      Looooong, still on dates and tobacco, with a hint of chocolate and ginger. Holly shit (in english in the text), that’s killing me softly!!

  3. Gris scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    84 to 86 notes? Seriously? 2 options: 1) those people juste don't understand anything to whisky 2) they'd like to get a bottle for less than any decent price and/or just didn't taste it! XD

  4. Gris scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      From the outset, perfect notes (let's not be afraid of words) of dates and dried figs. I find it hard to say which ones stand out the most, maybe the dates, of a short head. Honestly, I've rarely felt them so frankly. Yet this kind of whiskey, which is my preference, I have tasted a lot! Nice hints of spices as well, as with a port of at least 30 years of age, but of high quality please! And well balanced, like a good Taylor's! Without doubt not the most complex nose I have ever had but, damn (in French in the text), what beauty and what pleasure!
    • Taste
      Powerful! 46.2% but we would give it more, clearly. A certain dryness on the palate and very woody notes (hence the feeling that we also have older whiskey). Here we are also strongly on tobacco, old cigar box style, as with a lot of (more) old finishes in good old sherry casks. We are also more, and perhaps even more markedly, on dates than dried figs. With a touch of plums. It sells dreams, brothel (still in French in the text)! A matter of taste, of course, but it's really my thing! It's powerful but at the same time it's round and superbly balanced. No need to add water, perfect as is. Again, not the most complex mouth I have ever had, but the bias to stick to these few notes pays off!
    • Finish
      Looooongue, always on dates and tobacco, with a hint of chocolate and ginger. A great killing!

  5. Gris scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    Notes under 88? Please explain it instead of just giving (bad) notes...

  6. seacroft scored this whisky 84 points Expert Senior

    I bought this bottle at an online auction and did not know much about it. Apparently it was only sold on North Star's website with a clear warning about sulfur / gunpowder elements. Some people like this but most do not. One of the reasons for this sulphur flavour could be down to the sherry casks used in the Vega 33. In the past, during the transportation of oak casks from Spain to Scotland, it was not uncommon to sterilise the casks by burning a sulphur candle inside the cask. This killed off all the bacteria that could ruin a new spirit, however, it had the result of inflicting sulphury notes in the whisky. I will give this whisky a new assessment when I have decanted and oxidized it enough to get rid of most of the sulfur notes if it's possible. If you like old school whisky and have a budget (aroud 400 euros) you should try the Vega 1977, 40yo. There you have a whisky that has matured with dignity without the sulphur elements.

  7. mjts93 scored this whisky 89 points Member Senior

    First opening was all sulphurous gun powder. Near impenetrable.
    Left open for a month (splitting the contents into two bottles for more oxidization for a few weeks as well) and the nose is just wonderful with next to no sulphur. palate is weaker and still mildly sulphurous (although still not fantastic even without) and the finish is solid.
    • Nose
      93 93
      Cognac-like, grape gelatin (I've never had this note but it's so pronounced here-it's great!), coffee liqueurs, crystallized cherries. dates, prune juice, fresh tobacco, some brimstone (only a small amount after enough aeration of the bottle) and menthol.

      stellar nose.
    • Taste
      86 86
      Not at the level of the nose. the grape gelatin note is really pronounced but the sulphurous note takes more of a hold here. the wood is also more dominant here. Other notes similar to the nose just less pronounced
    • Finish
      89 89
      Medium to long. Fresh tobacco, dates and a slight resin and mint.

  8. dRambo scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    pleasantly sulphurous nose - reminiscent of a Rothes - very tasty retro Refillsherrystyle
    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      89 89

  9. Cubey666 scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    a nice old dram, and from my year of birth! always fun!
    • Nose
      90 90
      solid nose, filled with: popcorn, maple syrup, gunpowder, cacao, dark fruits, dates.
    • Taste
      89 89
      red fruits, dark chocolate, bit of pepper, old cigar box, plums, tobacco.
    • Finish
      87 87
      bit on the dry side, plums, figs, dark fruits, chocolate, old wood, tobacco leaves. herbs and spices keep lingering in the end

  10. Dionysus scored this whisky 84 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      84 84
    • Finish
      82 82


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